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Cameroonian military court convicts journalist Ahmed Abba of terrorism charges

New York, April 20, 2017–A military court in Cameroon today convicted Ahmed Abba, a journalist for Radio France Internationale’s Hausa service, on charges of “non-denunciation of terrorism”

Ahmed Abba
and “laundering of the proceeds of terrorist acts,” according to his lawyer and RFI. The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Cameroonian authorities not to contest the journalist’s appeal and to release him without delay.

Abba’s lawyer, Clément Nakong, told CPJ that Abba, who has been jailed since July 2015 in relation to his reporting on the extremist group Boko Haram, could face the death penalty on the first charge and a maximum of five years in prison on the second charge at a sentencing hearing scheduled for April 24. Nakong said Abba would appeal the conviction after the sentencing hearing. RFI reported that the military tribunal acquitted the journalist of the charge of “apologizing for acts of terrorism.”

“The military court’s conviction of Cameroonian radio journalist Ahmed Abba on terrorism charges that could carry the death penalty is an outrage,” CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney said. “Covering terrorism as a reporter must not be equated with committing acts of terror. Each day Abba spends behind bars is a travesty of justice.”

CPJ Press Freedom Online

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  1. Convictions are a dirty game everywhere with most officials peddling influence and money incentives to play out on incorruptible Judges. Not everyone “convicted” of a crime is guilty and vice versa.

  2. My worry for this as well as other journalists is the proneness to substitute personal views for news! Where government authorities display allergic reaction to news getting out, this can pose a problem for the news reporter.

    A very recent case was a journalist virtually putting words into the mouth of a certain Commandant Tamambang and Archbishop Cornelius Esua to varnish a news item. Risky move if and when such items get to trial courts!